But the Oakland Raiders' second-year starter doesn't have much of a future as a college football historian.
In an interview with Carr on Tuesday, radio host Dan Le Batard said he believed Carr's older brother, former NFL quarterback David Carr, was the best college quarterback he had ever seen. And tough as it might be to disagree where one's own brother is concerned, Carr didn't hesitate.
"It's hard to argue. I absolutely agree. Everything he did, all the teams they beat that year, especially, the top-25 teams," Carr said. "I think there were three or four of them. And he threw for 500 yards, it seemed like, every game. So it's hard to go against that. He was dominant, for sure."
The season that the younger Carr referred to was 2001, when David Carr led Fresno State to an 11-3 record with a remarkable season. He completed 344 of 533 passes for 4,839 yards, 46 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. But Derek's recollection of a tough schedule is a bit inflated. Fresno State played just two top-25 teams, and neither (No. 23 Wisconsin, No. 22 Oregon State) were in the top 20 at the time the game was played.
In any case, Carr is just backing his brother -- who wouldn't? However, one doesn't have to dig too far into the past to find better quarterbacks who have had better seasons, and more of them, against better competition. Baylor's Robert Griffin III faced four ranked teams in 2011, including two in the top 5. He posted similar numbers, and with his rushing exploits added, they were better numbers. If rushing stats are allowed in the door as a factor, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel, given strength of schedule, would all eclipse Carr as well. Want a pure passer? Try Sam Bradford: 50 touchdown passes at Oklahoma in 2008, while facing seven ranked teams and three in the top five.
David Carr's place as one of the greatest players Fresno State's ever had is secure. But in the book of college football history, he's more of a footnote than a chapter.